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What is the Maryland Negligence Law?

You are driving on the street and you collide with a person who is taking his car out of the drive way. The accident causes severe damage to both vehicles; you are severely injured. Is there a way to know who was the at-fault driver? Negligence is the major cause of injury and death in the U.S.

Negligence Law Definition

In general, negligence means careless conduct or reckless behavior. Negligence law definition defines negligence as failure to exercise care towards others which a prudent person would do in the circumstance; action taken in a circumstance where a prudent or reasonable person would not. Negligence laws distinguish negligence as accidental compared to ‘intentional torts’ such as assault, trespass among others.

As per the negligence law definition, there are four elements of negligence.

  • Duty: Existence of a legal duty that the defendant owes to the plaintiff
  • Breach of duty: failure to fulfill the duty by the defendant
  • Proximate cause: Defendant’s failure is the main cause for the plaintiff’s suffering
  • The harm caused: Plaintiff has suffered genuine damage

Maryland Negligence Law

The plaintiff who claims compensation for the damage caused by the defendant must prove all four elements to be entitled to receive the damage as per the negligence laws. Negligence laws by state different from one state to another. But the negligence law definition is the same in all states of the U.S.

Negligence Law Maryland

There are four types of negligence namely

  • Contributory negligence
  • Comparative negligence
  • Gross negligence
  • Vicarious liability

Negligence laws by state are different and each state follows different negligence laws. Maryland negligence law follows the comparative negligence laws like the other states in the U.S as well as the District of Columbia.

As per the comparative negligence law Maryland, if the injured victim, also called the plaintiff is found partly responsible for his or her injuries, the compensation is adjusted based on the percentage or his or her fault. In simple, if you are the injured victim and you are at 25% fault, as per Maryland negligence law, your compensation will be reduced by 25%.

Punishment for Negligence in Maryland

Negligence laws by state though different, follow some similar laws. Maryland is one of the four states in the U.S. to follow pure contributory negligence. As per pure contributory negligence law Maryland, in the plaintiff is found at all responsible for this or her injury, even by one percent, he/she is not entitled to any compensation. The Maryland negligence law is very stringent, so is the punishment for negligence in Maryland. Some of the examples of negligence in Maryland include the following.

  • Motor vehicle accident
  • Pedestrian accident
  • Slip and fall injury

Punishment for Negligence in Maryland

In cases of negligence, the defendant never intentionally causes harm to another. But the negligence laws by state is stringent, so is the punishment for negligence in Maryland. As per the Maryland negligence laws, if an accident caused by negligence results in severe injury or death or one or more persons, it is considered criminal negligence. The punishment for negligence in Maryland varies according to the severity of the offense and the damage caused. But criminal negligence in the state is a misdemeanor with a penalty of a maximum of 3 years in prison.

Gross negligence, though is a similar offense, is far more severe under Maryland Negligence law. Gross negligence refers to ack of slight diligence or care. It is an omission in or voluntary act of reckless disregard of a legal duty that results in damage to another party. It is considered a felony with a prison sentence of up to ten years upon conviction.

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